Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Dogs Got Wednesdays?

SUMMARY: How do they know what night it is?

I don't get it. It's 7:30 Wednesday evening, when we have been leaving for agility class in recent months. BUT.

We haven't been to class in 2 weeks. (Anyway we're supposed to be going on Tuesdays but have been rained out.)

We went for a long walk to the park and some frisbee in the rain instead.

They got a full dinner instead of the usual quick snack before class.

I don't do ANYTHING DIFFERENT on Wednesdays than any other day, and in fact did stuff LESS like an agility class night tonight than I would on a normal class night. Why are they in here nudging me and pestering me and telling me it's time to get going? What do dogs know from Wednesdays?

Renter says it must be because he always brings home Chinese food (and always the same Chinese food) on Wednesdays and they always get the same little Chinese food treat (a single bite) from him. Is that really it?
Dogs are amazing. And I can see it's going to be a long evening. They've stopped nudging but are lying there staring at me.

NO CLASS TONIGHT, YOU HEAR ME? If you can identify WEDNESDAYS, you're certainly clever enought to READ MY LIPS: "NO class tonight!!"
Looking to my left:

Looking to my right:

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Thursday, May 07, 2009

Cutting Back On Agility

SUMMARY: Where to cut? How? Why? When?

I have vowed to cut back on my agility weekends.

My first thought was: I'll do only the Bay Team and SMART trials, because I'm a member and because they're fairly close to home--in theory meaning that I could sleep in my own bed on Saturday night and not have to get up at 4:00 a.m. to get there on Saturday. That would still be plenty of agility, because Bay Team is now doing eight (8!!) trials a year, and SMART now seems to be up to three a year. That's about one a month--sounds perfect!

There are two problems with this:

1) Four of the Bay Team's trials are now under cover up in Santa Rosa, which actually takes me as long to get to, or longer, than the VAST, NAF, Haute Dawgs, or TRACS trials in the central valley. Plus I have to go over a big bridge, and the traffic in the evening can be ugly. And I *do* have to get up at 4 on Saturday and I *do* have to stay overnight.

2) Those 11 trials aren't well spaced through the year. They actually run like this:
* One in late January.
* One in mid-March.
* One the last weekend in April and another the following weekend.
* Nothing for 6 weeks, then one every other weekend for from mid-June to mid-July.
* Nothing for 5 weeks, then one the last weekend in august and another the following weekend.
* Nothing for 3 months, then one in mid-December, which is really holiday time and I'm usually busy.

So I don't like the way it's laid out.

If I do only the ones where I can [reasonably] sleep in my own bed Saturday night, that drops me to only 7 a year. Not only am I not sure I'm ready for that drastic a cut [Yet, at any rate], that also drops all the trials from December through March, meaning that I'd have no agility from Labor Day until the last weekend in April. Ack! Can't be done, just can't.

But maybe.

The evolving schedule is a work in progress.

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Friday, December 05, 2008

The Agility Blob That Ate the Universe

SUMMARY: Compare and contrast 1996 to 2008.

(Thanks, awesome Karey K who is at least as fanatical as I am about saving cool but barely useful informational historical artifacts and who compiled the original calendars!)
My first trial was in January 1996. I did 6 trials that year.

I never did, and still don't, do AKC, which are shown here grayed out. I'm not currently driving more than about 2 hours for agility trials (except Scottsdale), so these "local" trials are in bold (including the AKCs) and everything farther away is nonbold. (Carson City is about 4 hours, so a lot of local people go to those trials, too; others are 5-6 hours.)

Compare and contrast to 2008's calendar. Hoooooly moley! (I'm doing only 17 trials this year. Gotta restrain myself somehow--)

Jan 6 - Jan 5/ 6 ElkGrove CPE
Jan 13 -Jan 12/13 (MLK) ElkGrove HauteDawgs NADAC,
San Diego USDAA
Jan 20-Jan 19/20 SantaRosa BorderTerrier AKC,
ElkGrove HauteDawgs CPE
Jan 27 San Martin Bay Team NADACJan 26/27 SantaRosa Bayteam USDAA
Feb 03 -Feb 2/ 3 Turlock VAST USDAA,
SantaRosa AKC,
ElkGrove CPE,
Milpitas DalClub Zink seminar
Feb 10 - Feb 9/10
Feb 17 (pres day) Pomona USDAAFeb 16/17(prez's) ElkGrove NADAC,
Madera NADAC
Feb 24 -Feb 23/24 ElkGrove CPE,
CityOfIndustry WVDS USDAA,
Madera NADAC
Mar 02 -Mar 1/ 2 Dixon MtDiableDTC AKC,
Fillmore ContactPt USDAA,
Madera NADAC
Mar 09 Fresno USDAAMar 8/ 9 Turlock VAST CPE,
?Fresno Sunmaid AKC,
Wilton NADAC
Mar 16 -Mar 15/16 Madera CAT USDAA,
Dixon VallejoDTC AKC,
ElkGrove NADAC,
Mar 23 -Mar 22/23 (easter) Sunnyvale Bayteam CPE,
Dixon SheltieClub AKC,
ElkGrove NADAC
Mar 30 -Mar 29/30 Hollister PASA ASCA,
Wilton NADAC
Apr 06 -Apr 5/ 6 Dixon DDTC AKC,
SantaRosa R2R NADAC
Apr 13 Nancy's agility funmatchApr 12/13 Dixon HautedawgsTRACS 4-day USDAA,
CarsonCity NADAC
Apr 20 -Apr 19/20 ?PP camp,
SantaRosa NADAC,
ElkGrove funmatch,
Apr 27 Santa Rosa NADACApr 26/27 Prunedale SMarT USDAA,
ElkGrove DOCNA
May 04 Davis AKC agilityMay 3/ 4 Sunnyvale Bayteam USDAA,
SantaRosa MensonaKC AKC,
CarsonCity R@R NADAC
May 11 Hayward Chris Zink seminarMay 10/11 CarsonCity QAC USDAA,
ElkGrove CPE
May 18 -May 17/18 ElkGrove CPE,
Hollister SCDTC AKC,
Hollister PASA ASCA,
May 25 (mem day)Dixon NADAC May 24/25 (mem) Dixon TRACS 4-day AKC,
Moorpark Happydog USDAA/mas,
ElkGrove NADAC
Jun 01 dixon terv AKC agility match,
border terrier AKC agility
May 31/ 1 Turlock NAF USDAA/team,
Salinas DelMonte AKC,
Madera CAT CPE
Jun 08 -Jun 7/ 8 PaloAlto TervClub AKC,
Dixon PowerPaws Camp,
CarsonCity R2R NADAC
Jun 15 -Jun 14/15 ScottsValley MBDTC AKC,
ElkGrove NADAC,
Reno AKC
Jun 22 -Jun 21/22 ElkGrove CorgiClub AKC,
CarsonCity ASCA
Jun 29 Hayward Sheltie AKC agility Jun 28/29 Portland CAT USDAA/GP+,
Dixon SheltieClub AKC
Jul 06 -Jul 5/ 6 Sunnyvale Bayteam USDAA/3day
Jul 13 Palo Alto Poodle AKC agility (su)Jul 12/13 Livermore Malamute AKC,
Eureka NADAC
Jul 20 -Jul 19/20 Petaluma Bayteam CPE,
Ferndale LostCoast AKC,
?CityofIndustry WVDS USDAA
Jul 27 Hayward Malmute AKC agility (sa/su),
Jul 26/27 CarsonCuty MDT-AA NADAC
Aug 03 -Aug 2/ 3 Hollister PASA ASCA,
ElkGrove CPE
Aug 10 -Aug 9/10 Petaluma CountyWide AKC,
Aug 17 Ventura West Valley USDAAAug 16/17 Dixon NapaDTC AKC,
Eureka CPE,
Carson City QAC CPE
Aug 24 Davis AKC agility Aug 23/24 Salinas SMarT USDAA
Aug 31 (labor day) Daly City Bay Team USDAAAug 30/31(labor) Prunedale Bayteam USDAA/GP+,
Sep 07 Bolton seminar,
Hayward Springer AKC agility (su)
Sep 6/ 7 Dixon DDTC AKC,
CarsonCity NADAC,
Turlock DeltaAussies ASCA,
Moorpark Happydog USDAA/mas
Sep 14 - Sep 13/14 Turlock VAST USDAA,
SanRaphael SirFrancisDrakeKC AKC,
Sep 21 -Sep 20/21 Woodland TRACS USDAA
Sep 28 Ventura West Valley NADACSep 27/28 Elkgrove WeimClub AKC
Oct 05 Woodside terv AKC agility trialOct 4/ 5 Elkgrove CPE
Oct 12 Xnadac nat'lsOct 11/12 Dixon Haute Dawgs USDAA,
Hollister PASA ASCA
CarsonCity AKC,
Moorpark Happydog USDAA/st/adv
Oct 19 Santa Rosa County-Wide AKC agilityOct 18/19 Madera CAT USDAA,
Pleasanton DelValle AKC,
ElkGrove DOCNA,
CarsonCity R2R NADAC
Oct 26 Fresno UDSAAOct 25/26 Turlock VAST CPE,
Placerville HangtownKC AKC,
Nov 02 carmel bayteam alpaca demo,
Sharon Nelson seminar
Nov 1/ 2 Madera FresnoDTC AKC,
Scottsdale USDAA Natls
Nov 09 Hayward Bay Team NADACNov 8/ 9 SantaRosa Bayteam CPE,
ElkGrove NADAC
Nov 16 Hayward dalmation agility demo (su)Nov 15/16 Turlock NAF USDAA,
SantaRosa GR AKC,
RanchoCucamunga DART USDAA
Nov 23 -Nov 22/23
Nov 30 (turkey day) -Nov 29/30 (turk) RanchoMurieta SheltieClub AKC,
Moorpark Happydog USDAA/mas,
ElkGrove CPE
Dec 07 -Dec 6/ 7 RanchoMurieta SacDTC AKC,
ElkGrove HauteDawgs NADAC
Dec 14 Fresno NADACDec 13/14 SantaRosa Bayteam USDAA/tourney
Dec 21 -Dec 20/21 (xmas)
Dec 28 -Dec 27/28 (newyrs) RanchoMurieta TRACS 4-day AKC

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Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Really Really Bored Dogs and Agility Schedule

SUMMARY: Pesterful dogs and agility coming right up.

The Bay Team is hosting a 3-day USDAA trial locally in Sunnyvale this weekend with regular classes and all the tournaments, and I didn't sign Tika up for team because I kick myself so hard when I mess up, plus she's Qed twice in team already this year. And who needs to spend the extra $50.

But I've been working away from home a lot the last few weeks, and we've had no trials, and of course only Boost's agility classes (in which Tika gets just a couple of runs) and I'm just not getting out and walking them every day and she's going stir crazy and driving me nuts--following me everywhere, leaning on me, hugging up close to me, staring at me, and she looks SO MISERABLY CRUSHED when I stop playing in the yard and go inside--so now I regret not entering her after all. That means that Boost has 5 runs on Friday and Tika has none.

Oh, well, maybe someone will have to pull their dog at the last minute and we can sneak in. Otherwise I'll just have to make a point of spending time playing with her when I'm not running Boost and remember not to just dash back to the score table--which, as usual, I've signed up as Chief Czar for. And which can suck up all my time shwooooooooofff just like that. And try very hard not to kick myself repeatedly if I make a mistake, which can ruin my weekend in Team.

It feels as if it has been ages since I've done any agility. And, in terms of my "traditional" agility life, it has been! Five weeks since our last trail! Then it'll be two weeks to our next one, then another 4 weeks after that. THEN it gets nuts: 6 USDAA 2-day trials in 9 weeks (oh, one of those is really a 3 1/2 day Regional at Labor Day), which should make the dogs happy, but I'm not sure I really want to--or can afford to--do that much.

Then it's probably nothing until January (since I'm skipping Nationals), unless I go to Elk Grove on Thanksgiving weekend for my usual fun CPE trial. Maybe just a day this time instead of 2 days. And Bay Team is hosting yet ANOTHER damn Team tournament in December, which I skipped last year and I just can't see getting excited about at that time of year, out of town.

The dogs will REALLY go nuts with months of no agility!

And what do I really want to achieve this weekend? Team Q for Boost! (Why, if I'm not going to Nationals?? Well, eventually it'll be useful for her ADCH. I hope.) Steeplechase Q for Boost! Ditto for Tika! Because I want to win it all and bring home big checks! (Oh-oh, there goes the idea of doing agility BECAUSE IT'S FUN! fffffoooooop, right out the door like that!)

And of course SOME day it would be nice for Boost to get a Standard Q and a Jumpers Q and actually earn her MAD.

But I am also feeling, like Days of Speed and others have posted in recent months, feeling still amazingly Been There Done That at the moment. It'll be fun while I'm there. Mostly probably. And it's always nice seeing my friends

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Tuesday, July 03, 2007

In the Heart of Agility Country

SUMMARY: Yes, I'm lucky where I live.

In response to a comment about being lucky where I live to have 14 USDAA trials in a year--yes...yes, I am. Although, since I feel compelled to be at all of them plus a few CPEs as well (such is the nature of addiction), it would actually be nice to live somewhere were they *weren't* so convenient and I could spend my weekends doing something creative, exploratory, or even (gasp!) relaxing.

Here's a quick calendar of the USDAA events that I put on my personal calendar for 2007. Notes:
  • The ones that are nearly 2 hours, I spend the night. So there are really only 3-4 USDAA trials a year where I can sleep in my own bed.
  • The ones that are farther than that, I just don't go to (except Nationals), although many of my friends do, and I keep thinking that someday I might want to go to them again (did for a couple of years).
  • And I haven't even included the Oregon ones, to which some diehards travel. And I think there might be a few more of those southern Cal ones (5-8 hours) that I didn't even note on my calendar.
  • Times are actual driving times, not including stops.

January Bay Team Santa Rosa <2 hrs
San Diego 7 hrs
February VAST Turlock <2 hrs
Pomona5 1/2 hrs
March Fillmore 5 hrs
CAT Madera <2 hrs
April Haute TRACS Dixon <2 hrs
SMART Salinas < 1 hr
May Bay Team varies...used to be sunnyvale 20 mins, but in any case <2 hrs
Quicksilver Carson City 4 hrs
Moorpark 5 hrs
June NAF Turlock <2 hrs
July City of Industry 5 hrs
Moorpark 5 hrs
Aug SMART Salinas< 1 hr
Sept Bay Team Sunnyvale 20 mins
VAST Turlock < 2hrs
TRACS Woodland 2 hrs
Oct Haute Dawgs Dixon <2hrs
CAT Madera <2 hrs
Nov Nationals 11 hrs
NAF Turlock <2 hrs
DART Irwindale 5 1/2 hrs

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Monday, January 08, 2007


SUMMARY: The challenges in trying to schedule my hours.

I'm coming to believe that my life is ruled by exceptions, not by regularity. I am arriving at this revelation based on a week's worth of attempting to schedule out exactly 9 hours of billable working time--more than I usually do--per weekday for a week, and being unable to manage it.

To start with, I assume that I'm schedulable from 7:30 in the morning, about my average time for morning rising, until 10:00 at night, when I (nominally) retire to bed. Subtract 9 hours of work, gives me 5 and a half hours per day for other activities.

It takes me about 3 hours a day to do only the basics--rise, eat breakfast while skimming the morning paper (and doing my average-8-minute crossword), shower, dress, prepare and eat lunch, prepare and eat dinner, do the exercises I'm supposed to do to strengthen my knees, go through my mail, clean the short, just get by. I'm not even talking about bonus activities like reconciling my checkbook or doing the laundry.

Dogs consume a lot of my time on top of that. Two days a week, we have agility class (once for Boost, once for Tika), which is 1.5 to 1.75 hours of class time plus gathering oneself and one's dogs to go, driving there, and driving back. That consumes 3 hours each time, so for those two days a week, I have only 2.5 hours in which to do my 3 hours of basics.

But wait-- even on those days, there's just a minimal amount of dog attention that needs to be paid, let's say 10 minutes per dog sometime during the day (and that's not really enough to satisfy them, AND that has to include toenail trimming, hair removal, and such), that's another half an hour per day that's a high priority. More realistically, it's 10 minutes per dog twice a day, or I have bored, impatient, unexercised dogs starting to climb the walls. And even that's a minimum. And they don't count the time in which I'm rearranging or setting up agility obstacles for exercises or picking up 24 hours worth of three dogs' waste matter from around my large yard.

So I'm in arrears already from those 2 days unless I eat my reheated pizza over my keyboard while working, skip the exercises, skip the morning paper, skip the dog exercise--oh, wait, can't do that, dogs go nuts. OK, so I'm not going to manage 9 hours a day on those 2 days.

But the other 3 days should be fine, right? 9 hours of work plus 3 hours of basics plus 1 hour of dog exercise and I actually have 90 minutes of free time for those bonus activities like laundry or grocery shopping or watering the potted plants in the yard so they don't die or mowing the lawn before it overwhelms me.

So here's how my life is ruled by exceptions.

Last Tuesday, I was only a little behind schedule until 6 p.m., just needed 3 hours of billable time to make my daily goal. And a friend who's been living in Germany for the last 2 years calls. He's in town for a day or two. We'd like to get together. The only time our schedules look like they'll match is RIGHT NOW. So I bustle around, vacuuming up the dog hair and washing the dishes so at least there's a semblance of order and cleanliness. Then he's here for 2 hours and I actually kick him out so that I can get back to my billable hours. But I can't manage to stay awake and focused until midnight, so I'm out of luck.

The next day, middle of the day, I'm right on target. I have half an hour scheduled to bip to the bank to make a deposit and to the PO to drop off my bills. I'll sneak in a quick walk around the block with the dogs in a different neighborhood, by the PO. So I load the dogs in the car--and the battery won't go. I spend 10 minutes trying to trick it into starting, but no go. Unload the dogs, call AAA. Then deal with AAA when they get here, and it's not merely a drained battery, it's a battery on its last leg. Then deal with getting a new battery for the car. So I don't make my target that day.

The next day, I'm sitting quietly at my desk, enjoying a post-Christmas nougat, when a crown pops right off my tooth. I grab a paper towel to capture it, but Lo, my full stein of cherry soda is sitting on one edge of the paper towel, and now I have cherry soda all through and under my day timer, all over my desk, into and under the binder with my project info, all through the hardcopies of the document with my notes, and dripping onto the carpet. Cherry soda. There goes 15 minutes dealing with that, then call the dentist. That wasn't a lot of time that day because my dentist was out, but it rolled over into a 2-hour trip and procedure today.

This morning, I'm right on time for leaving the house to get to the dentist, except that as I start down the stairs, Jake vomits all over the wood in the hallway. This isn't something that can be left for later. I have to clean that up and hence am late for the dentist.

And as I'm putting things away, I notice the Discover magazine sitting by my door to remind me that my subscription has inexplicably stopped. This is after I already had to send them a letter a couple of months back, with a copy of my check, saying, "stop sending me past due notices because I sent you a check, here it is, please fix your records." So the past due notices stopped, and then my subscription did, too. So now I have to find the last issue that I received, get another copy of my check, find out when my subscription was supposed to be good through, and write another letter...

And then I have to come home and write about it in my blog. There's another 30 minutes down the tube. So I'll have to stay away for the rest of the week.

Oh, and I forgot to mention--my jaw is now throbbing and is approaching the moan-out-loud state of pain, and that's after a big dose of ibuprofen earlier. It's going to be hard to concentrate on anything requiring any thought at all, and if I take a codeine that'll put an end to any brainular function whatsoever. Tra la.

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